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Functional and Psychiatric Correlates of Comorbid Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Alcohol Use Disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and alcohol use disorder (AUD) are common comorbid conditions that affect large segments of the population. Individuals with comorbid PTSD/AUD face greater clinical and functional stressors than those with diagnoses of either PTSD or AUD alone. The purpose of this article is to review the phenomenology and functional associations of PTSD/AUD and address the...

Pharmacotherapy for Co-Occurring Alcohol Use Disorder and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Targeting the Opioidergic, Noradrenergic, Serotonergic, and GABAergic/Glutamatergic Systems

Alcohol use disorder (AUD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are highly comorbid, and treatment outcomes are worse in individuals with both disorders. Several neurobiological systems have been implicated in the development and maintenance of AUD and PTSD, and pharmacologic interventions targeting these systems for singular diagnoses of AUD or PTSD have proven effective. However, there are...

Co-Occurring Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Alcohol Use Disorder in U.S. Military and Veteran Populations

Co-occurring post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and alcohol use disorder (AUD) are costly and consequential public health problems that negatively affect the health and well-being of U.S. military service members and veterans. The disproportionate burden of comorbid PTSD and AUD among U.S. military service members and veterans may be due to unique factors associated with military service, such...

Co-Occurring Alcohol Use Disorder and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - Editor's Note

Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a chronic, relapsing brain disease characterized by a reduced ability to stop or control alcohol use despite negative social, work, or health consequences. Often, it co-occurs and interacts with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which may develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, such as combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, or...

The Epidemiology of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Alcohol Use Disorder

For more than 40 years, research has shown that individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) use alcohol and experience alcohol use disorder (AUD) to a greater degree than those with no PTSD. AUD and PTSD have shown a durable comorbidity that has extended through decades and through changes in disorder definitions. Some research shows that veterans who have experienced PTSD have a high...

Alcohol and Stress in the Military

Problematic alcohol use within the United States military has been linked to substantial financial and productivity losses. Data from 2006 revealed that excessive alcohol consumption cost the U.S. military $1.12 billion per year (Harwood et al. 2009). Regarding medical expenditures, studies have found that excessive alcohol use by military members results in an annual cost of $425 million...

Behavioral Treatments for Alcohol Use Disorder and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Alcohol use disorder (AUD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are highly prevalent and debilitating psychiatric conditions that commonly co-occur. Individuals with comorbid AUD and PTSD incur heightened risk for other psychiatric problems (e.g., depression and anxiety), impaired vocational and social functioning, and poor treatment outcomes. This review describes evidence-supported...

Nature and Treatment of Comorbid Alcohol Problems and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Among American Military Personnel and Veterans

Many service members and veterans seeking treatment for alcohol problems have experienced the life-threatening stress of combat, many have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and many service members and veterans seeking treatment for PTSD have alcohol or other substance problems. Sensitivity to these issues can influence how a therapist relates to the patient and also has possible...

Early Life Stress as a Predictor of Co-Occurring Alcohol Use Disorder and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

During the critical developmental periods of childhood when neural plasticity is high, exposure to early life stress (ELS) or trauma may lead to enduring changes in physiological stress systems and enhanced vulnerability for psychopathological conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and alcohol use disorder (AUD) in adulthood. Clinical and preclinical studies have sought to...

Childhood Trauma, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, and Alcohol Dependence

Children exposed to severe adversity early in life are at increased risk of subsequently developing mental health problems, including alcohol dependence. In general, the onset of trauma precedes the onset of alcohol dependence. Although it is impossible to establish a direct causal relationship, this temporal relationship suggests a robust and positive relationship between exposure to early-life...